The Hoboken City Council voted last night to repeal the controversial practice of dynamic pricing for parking in the Mile Square City, after a significant outcry over a spike in parking rates.
Initially implemented just a month ago, the dynamic pricing policy saw fees for parking shoot up from 25 cents for 15 minutes to anywhere from 50 to 90 cents for that same period, depending upon the location. That represents a 100-360% increase in cost to a person parking their car on the streets in Hoboken. The concept intended to make garage parking relatively more desirable, thereby taking more cars off the street and alleviating the parking problems that residents and visitors typically face.
According to Ryan Sharp, Hoboken’s Director of Parking and Transportation, “Most cities in this region have similar population densities, density of retail and parking demand as Hoboken—and they have parking rates that are much, much higher,” he told us, in an interview with hMAG in February. “New Jersey has been kind of slow to get in the game, but it’s becoming best practice now in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, San Francisco—even Atlantic City and some other shore towns.”
However, response to the rollout had been decidedly indignant in the face of significant sticker shock, prompting the Mayor and Council to re-evaluate the program.
“While the policies were introduced with the best intentions, it is evident that further consideration is required,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, in a March 19 statement on the City’s website. “I met with Councilman Michael Russo, who chairs the City Council sub-committee on parking and transportation. He also had expressed the same concerns as I had and reiterated to me the feedback from our community. We agreed to support immediate legislation addressing these concerns.”
Last night’s ordinance passed 7-2, effectively repealing the dynamic pricing structure and restoring the previous rates and enforcement. Implementation of the new/old parking rates will reportedly take 20 days—which, according to a City spokesperson, is standard for enacting new municipal ordinances.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.